This unassuming building plays many roles in our state’s history. This is referred to as the “Stone House” on the grounds of the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg Maryland. The Sisters of Charity is an organization created by Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American to become a Catholic Saint. (generally referred to as Mother Seton) When she came to Emmitsburg to build a better system of education, she ended up founding a charitable organization that would stretch around the world. This stone farm house was where that began.
What’s also significant about this place, and which ties to today, is that the grounds here and throughout the town itself were occupied by the Union army on the day of June 30 and the days preceding it in 1863. In fact, in the period leading to the battle of Gettysburg, Emmitsburg was thought to be one of the places where the Union may have engaged the Confederates. As a result, the town was fortified and martial law was even instilled. Of course, the battle didn’t happen there. On July 1st, General John Reynolds would leave Emmitsburg on his way to relive the cavalry that had been holding off the confederates 12 miles north.
During the occupation of the town, the Sisters of charity provided food and shelter for the soldiers. They were also among the first ones on the field to deal with the aftermath.